Playing a first ever game in a World Cup was always going to be a step into the unknown for Scotland.
But Lisa Evans believes that Shelley Kerr’s side showed against England in their Group D opener in Nice that they belong at the top table of women’s football.
After an underwhelming start to their clash against one of the pre-tournament favourites, the Scots clawed their way back into a contest that looked as if it was heading towards a heavy and morale-sapping defeat.
The 2-1 loss didn’t give them any points but it has given them belief according to the Perth midfielder.
Evans, who was at the heart of the Scottish fightback by coming close to scoring and then setting up Claire Emslie’s goal, was asked whether Sunday’s performance showed they are at home at a World Cup finals.
“Absolutely,” she said.
“England want to win this tournament, they’re ranked third in the world and I think we can take so many positives into our next game after only losing narrowly.
“We were obviously disappointed to come away with nothing.
“In the second half we turned the game around by scoring our first goal and I thought we were capable of going on and getting an equaliser.
“But we can definitely take positives from that second half performance.
“We started the game too deep and we weren’t getting enough pressure on them.
“We showed them too much respect at times.”
The VAR penalty awarded against Nicola Docherty rattled the Scots but Evans stressed that the introduction of video referees in the women’s game is something she welcomes.
“VAR was unfortunate but that can happen and it’s a great thing for football in general,” said the Arsenal Women’s Super league winner.
“Maybe we were a bit nervous and the VAR goal was tough to take.”
The temperature was in the high 20s in the French Riviera but it will drop to a more familiar level for Friday night’s second group game against Japan in Rennes. That should help the Scots play the style of football they are most comfortable with.
“It was a hard shift and hopefully it won’t be as hot in Rennes,” said Evans.
“We were too far off England with our press and the climate didn’t make it any easier.
“A Scottish climate should help us!”
The theory is that the games should get progressively more winnable. Japan are ranked seventh in the world and Argentina, 37th. But that doesn’t mean the Scots are putting all their eggs in the Argentinian basket with a view to making the last 16.
“We’re not just looking at the last game against Argentina as the one to target. We want to win every game,” said Evans.
“Japan are another top nation so it will be a tough ask again. We know what they are all about.
“They’re a great team and we have a lot of respect for them but we want to win and get the three points.”
Looking back on her assist for Emslie’s goal on Sunday, Evans said: “In the end it hasn’t counted for anything.
“I love to come in off the left wing and link-up. Claire has finished it well.
“We need to score goals to win games. It’s obviously a positive that we’ve scored our first goal and we’ll look to fix the things that weren’t so good going into the Japan game.”